No. 21 F&M Shuts Down Washington

No. 21 F&M Shuts Down Washington

Box Score

LANCASTER, Pa. - Jack Brandt scored two of Franklin & Marshall's four second-half goals, helping to deliver a pair of clutch points to Franklin & Marshall's Centennial Conference (CC) total with a 4-0 blanking of Washington on Saturday afternoon in Lancaster.

The Diplomats, who remain in the running for the top overall seed heading into the CC Playoffs, improved to 12-2-2, 5-1-2 CC with the victory while the Shoremen fell to 5-7-3, 2-4-2 CC.

Before the start of Saturday's matchup, the Diplomats honored their six-member senior class of Alex Bilodeau, Jim Connolly, Ryan Fincher, Josh Gotlib, Cole Niggeman, and Ugo Okolie.

F&M's offense was active in the early going by controlling possession and earning a slew of corner kick opportunities. Steven Yakita nearly rewarded the Diplomat attack with their best scoring opportunity in the 17th minute, fighting for a 50/50 ball in the middle of the box and beating out his defender in the air with a header. However, the attempt on net that was turned back by the Washington goalkeeper.   

The Diplomat defense was in control through the first 45 minutes of play, not allowing a Shoremen shot on goal. Overall, the first-half shot count favored F&M at 5-3, along with corners at 6-1. 

In the 55th minute, the Diplomats' offense finally broke through when Dallen Moore collected the ball along the near sideline and lofted a cross to the far post. Connor Whitacre was there for the header, placing a shot into the bottom right of the net for the 1-0 F&M lead. 

The Diplomats added to their advantage in the 69th minute when Max Geuder rolled a short pass to the top-left of the 18-yard box that was fired into the lower left of the net by Christian Avila Neres - his first-career score. 

Ahead by a 2-0 score, F&M kept its foot on the gas pedal as Jim Connolly and Jack Brandt connected for back-to-back, nearly identical goals in the 84th and 85th minutes that put the contest out of reach for good.

Both chances saw Connolly find open space along the far sideline and thread long crosses to the far post. Brandt collected both opportunities from close range and fired shots into the bottom-right corner. 

Sebastian Jenkins (5-0) improved to 5-0 with his stellar play through 83 minutes of action in goal. Josh Gotlib came in for the final 6:20 and did not face a shot. Josh Samuels (4-6-3) was charged with the Washington defeat after turning back six shots. 

The Diplomats led in total shots at 18-5, as well as corners at 9-2. Whitacre paced the offense with six shots, followed by Ugo Okolie with three.

F&M's regular season concludes on Thursday when the Diplomats travel to Westminster to battle McDaniel at 3:30 p.m.